MS VIRGINIA SENIOR AMERICA 2017,
CHERYL BROWN DAVIS
Congratulations to Cheryl Brown Davis, Ms. Virginia! As Cheryl tells it:
I was named Cheryl Lee Brown after my dad, Leroy Brown. I was so fortunate that my parents were able to give me piano and dance lessons at age five. I played the piano at church where were my first singing experiences. Mother taught ballroom dance classes in our home. How little did I know at the time that the music with which I grew up would shape what I taught my students twenty five years later!
When I joined the high school choir, I saw my first opera, heard the Robert Shaw Chorale, and was selected for the All-Virginia Choir. Those experiences with music shaper my choice of career, to become a music teacher. Madison College chose me and I was honored and fortunate to graduate after three years with a BM Ed. Degree and then to The University of Michigan for year four and my Masters degree in Voice Performance. Work study programs convinced me to appreciate the gift of a College education.
After starting a music program in Michigan, I returned "home" to Virginia and taught music at the high school level. My first professional singing position was at Busch Gardens during its beginnings. I married in my twenties and moved to the Shenandoah Valley, where I taught music for ten years and had my son, who now is a professional bassoonist. In those years, teaching jazz became very important to me. In my thirties I realized that I needed to go back to school for more professional training in education, and by age forty I completed my doctoral Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia. I was ready for a new chapter in my life! I taught music at the college level for five years then returned "home" again and finished my teaching career in Newport News where I had begun my teaching career, some thirty-eight years earlier.
Love walked back into my life and I married my current husband in the first part of this century and from his love, I consider myself to be a much better person that I ever dreamed I could be. As true partners, we grow vegetables and flowers, travel to Europe, and watch college sports! I now have time to engage in my love of all things historical, including volunteer work with the local historical societies, leading our Daughters of the American Revolution as Regent, and membership on the Board of Directors of the First Thanksgiving Festival at Berkeley Plantation. Retirement has given me time to combine love of my community and music, including performing with local instrumentalists of the Northern Neck Orchestra, church organist, adjudicating music festivals and district events, directing the "Messiah" sing, leading the Rappahannock Music Study club as President, directing two community groups, the "Baytones" and the "Chesapeake Chorale". I am exceptionally blessed to be a part of the Northern Neck Community!